[LINK] Copyright questions

Karl Auer kauer at biplane.com.au
Thu Mar 24 16:38:56 AEDT 2011

On Thu, 2011-03-24 at 16:17 +1100, Bernard Robertson-Dunn wrote:
> At least, I think they are Copyright questions.

I think they are - and I think they are very good questions.

> If I find a document on the web and put a copy of it (unchanged) on my
> website and make reference to it, am I doing anything wrong - legally
> or otherwise?

I suspect (but do not know) that even if the doc is referenced properly,
full credit given where due and so on and so forth, it would still be
seen by the current legal system as an act that the copyright owner
could object to.

The owner may have good reasons for not wanting the work duplicated on
another website. For example, it may be something that the copyright
owner feels is only valid in the particular context he/she placed it in,
and by removing it from that context, you have in some way diminished
its validity. Or (more prosaically) he/she may wish to count hits,
downloads etc; by making it available on your site, you deprive the
copyright owner of that information.

The obvious question is also, of course, why not just link to it?

> If that document is now no longer available on the web and I put a copy 
> of it (unchanged) on my website and make reference to it, am I doing 
> anything wrong - legally or otherwise?

Well, you may not be able to find a copy of the latest blockbuster novel
on the web either , but that doesn't mean it's legal to put it on your
website, no matter how scrupulous you are about attribution. Ditto for
some book that's out of print.

Note that I make no comment on whether this *should* be the case, just
that I suspect it is the case. At the moment.

Regards, K.

Karl Auer (kauer at biplane.com.au)                   +61-2-64957160 (h)
http://www.biplane.com.au/kauer/                   +61-428-957160 (mob)

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